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Donald James Cross

1934 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Donald James Cross, age 84, of Lawrence Park, peacefully passed away on Thursday, September 6, 2018 at St. Vincent Hospital with his daughters at his bedside. Born in Erie on May 21, 1934, he was the son of the late Theodore R. and Anna Farr Cross.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sisters, Ruth Ann Alves, and Evelyn Butler Kimmel Madden; and a nephew, Scott Butler. Don is survived by his brother, Dick Cross (Renate) of Chattaroy, Wash.; two daughters, Diane Miller (Ron) of Largo, Fla., and Delite Hoover of Lawrence Park; his granddaughter, Becky Silkworth (Gerry) of Erie, and their four sons, Alex, Adam, Nicky and Levi; stepson, Matt Ruch (Donna Jane), as well as Matt's son, Calvin of Medical Lake, Wash.; and stepdaughter, Shele Like (Tim), as well as Shele's daughter, Cecelia of Stanwood, Wash.

As teens, Don and his sister, Evelyn, lived with their grandparents, Mac and May Farr in Wattsburg. Don graduated Wattsburg High in 1952, having been named the Faculty Choice Student. In 1953, he entered the Marine Corps, rising through the ranks and retiring as Master Gunnery Sargent in 1973. His proud 20 year career included two tours in Viet Nam at the height of that war. After Viet Nam, Don attended the USMC Recruiter's School. Graduating first in his class, he was awarded a beautifully engraved Marine Corps scabbard and his choice of duty stations. He chose Spokane, Wash., and served as lead USMC Recruiter there until his retirement from The Corps.

A lifelong lover of books and learning, in retirement, Don went back to school and earned a degree from Spokane Community College. He then went to work for Inland Power and Light in Spokane, and while employed there put his love of photography to use taking photos for the company's annual calendar. He moved on to take a position with Northrup Aviation at their facility in Saudi Arabia, where he worked for several years. When he returned stateside, he attended Federal Law Enforcement School in Brunswick, Ga.

Upon graduation, he took a position as an Immigration Officer at Montreal's International Airport, and while there was credited with thwarting the abduction of a child. Again returning stateside, Don moved to Bonners Ferry, Idaho, having taken a post as an Immigration Officer at Porthill, Idaho. When he finally decided to retire for good, Don moved to Port Charlotte, Fla., where he became very active in the local branch of the Marine Corps League #756 of SW Florida.

Don's health began to decline due to Parkinson 's disease, a result of his exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Viet Nam. In 2013, Don's daughter, Delite, invited him to come and share her home in Lawrence Park where, until his passing, she lovingly cared for him and provided the home cooked meals he so enjoyed. After moving to Erie, Don attended monthly meetings of the USMC Devil Dogs at VFW Post 470. He was a proud member of the NRA, and a lifetime member of the RNC.

Don was baptized into the in 2012, ordained as an Elder in 2013, and received his Endowment at the Palmyra, NY Temple in 2014. He was a member in good standing and a regular attendee of Sunday services of the 2nd Ward of the Jamestown Stake assemblies on South Hill Road in Erie. His daughters would like to thank the members of his church for the care they have shown him over the years.

Diane and Delite also wish to express their sincere gratitude to the staff of St. Vincents Hospital (most especially Dr. Gidwani, and ICU R.N.'s, Rebecca and Cindy) for their lovingly attentive care of our father. He (and we) could not have been in better hands. Thank you so much.

No local services are planned. A ceremony will be held upon the inurnment of his ashes at a later date. Arrangements were handled by the Dusckas Funeral Home, Inc., 2607 Buffalo Rd.

Sign the Guestbook at www.GoErie.com/obits.
Published in the Erie Times-News on Sept. 16, 2018
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